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Contemplation

2010 Mar 7 23:03 UTC

Braveheart

So, as usual it is several weeks after the fact, but a while back Braveheart came up as the family movie night movie. I really should write these sooner after the fact, as my memories are already fuzzy. In general though I liked it. It was a good movie. Engaging. Kept my attention. All of those sorts of fun things. It did after all win a bunch of awards, so I guess that is not too horribly unexpected.

What did annoy me though was afterwards going and reading a bunch of Wikipedia articles about the various historical characters in the movie and seeing just how far off from historical truth the movie is.

You see, I know when you make a historical movie (or novel, or whatever) you need to flesh it out and fill in all sorts of gaps not actually captured by the historical record. You need to make it interesting and entertaining. You have to match some sort of narrative structure. You may include tons of stuff for which there is no historical proof.

But these should be things that COULD have been true. Things that add and fill in gaps. But not things that directly contradict known historical fact. See, if you are going to do that, just change all the names, use made up countries and places, and call it straight out fiction. Not historical fiction, just fiction. Nothing wrong with that. Tell a good story. It can be great. But then don’t pretend the story is actually about William Wallace who lived from 1272 to 1305 and then give him a love interest with Isabella of France who lived from 1292 to 1358 and who didn’t come to England until after Wallace was dead. And don’t make King Edward I die during the course of events here who actually lived after that. Don’t completely change around the timeline of when Robert I of Scotland did various things. Etc, etc, etc. It seems various people have called this thing one of the most inaccurate historical dramas ever made. The kind of things they have done here would be comparable to making a movie about the American Revolution where Washington died heroically in battle, Franklin became president, and Lincoln showed up to save the day. It might be great fun, but it wouldn’t even remotely be related tot he real history.

OK, now I kind of want to see that movie with the Washington/Franklin/Lincoln SuperFriends.

I guess having said all of the above, it was a fun movie… as long as you don’t get hung up in any of the bit about it being “based on a true story” or learning about anything interesting from a historical basis. It is just fiction. They should have used made up names and places. But it was a good fun movie. Lots of violence of course here. It is about a war of course. It is known for the battle scenes.